×

Sundance: ‘Halston’ Sells to Studio Formerly Known as The Orchard (EXCLUSIVE)

Halston,” a look at the famous American fashion designer, has sold theatrical distribution and home entertainment rights to the studio formerly known as The Orchard Film Group. The deal comes following its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday.

It’s the first major purchase for the indie label since it announced this week that it had a deal in place to be sold to 1091 Media, an investment group run by Danny Stein and Joe Samberg, who previously oversaw The Orchard’s push into releasing films. The Orchard is divesting from movies to concentrate on its core music business. The film group will be renamed.

Halston,” an intimate look at a man who rose to the top of the world of haute couture with his minimalist aesthetic, was produced by CNN Films, which will retain all North American broadcast rights. It was directed by Frédéric Tcheng. The Orchard previously released his acclaimed 2015 documentary “Dior and I.” That film went on to gross $1.1 million at the box office, a tidy sum for a non-fiction film.

“After our previous successful collaboration on ‘Dior and I,’ I’m looking forward to working again with the passionate team over at The Orchard,” said Tcheng. “They are the perfect partner for the U.S. release.”

Amy Entelis and Courtney Sexton of CNN Films are executive producers for “Halston” and the production represents more than two years of collaboration and development partnership with the filmmakers Frédéric Tcheng and Roland Ballester.

Documentaries have been a particularly hot genre at this year’s Sundance — the festival is playing host to non-fiction films about a number of political and cultural figures such as Dr. Ruth (“Ask Dr. Ruth”), Michael Jackson (“Leaving Neverland”), and Roy Cohn (“Where’s My Roy Cohn”). Part of the interest is attributable to the fact that many of the top-grossing films to come out of Sundance, a fraternity that boasts “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” and “RBG,” were documentaries. “Halston” should attract attention for its look at a designer who partied with Liza Minnelli and Andy Warhol, while outfitting Jacqueline Kennedy and other high society mavens.

The company plans to release the film theatrically this spring. CNN is eyeing a broadcast premiere in the third quarter of 2019. Following that airing, the film will later stream on Amazon. This will be The Orchard film group’s third partnership with CNN Films. The companies previously collaborated on “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent” and “Trophy.”

The deal was negotiated by vice president of acquisitions Danielle DiGiacomo and Ana Vicente, Dogwoof head of sales. Dogwoof’s production fund, T-Dog Productions funded the development of the film. The broadcast rights were negotiated with the filmmakers by Stacey Wolf, vice president of business affairs for CNN and HLN, on behalf of CNN Films.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • 45 Seconds of Laughter

    Film Review: '45 Seconds of Laughter'

    “Everyone is worth more than their worst act,” said Roman Catholic sister and anti-death penalty advocate Helen Prejean, and it’s with these words that “45 Seconds of Laughter” closes. It’s an apt sentiment on which to leave Tim Robbins’ sincerely felt documentary study of the therapeutic acting workshops run by his own theater company in [...]

  • Julie Andrews

    Julie Andrews Selected for AFI's Life Achievement Award

    The American Film Institute Board of Trustees has selected Julie Andrews as the recipient of the 48th AFI Life Achievement Award. The award will be presented to Andrews on April 25 in Los Angeles. The ceremony will be telecast on TNT. “Julie Andrews is practically perfect in every way,” said Kathleen Kennedy, chair of the [...]

  • 4127_D001_00007_RC Phyllis Logan stars as Mrs.

    'Downton Abbey' to Dominate Box Office Weekend With $30 Million

    The feature film version of “Downton Abbey” is heading for an impressive $30 million opening weekend at 3,079 sites for an easy victory at the North American box office, early estimates showed Friday. The launch of Brad Pitt’s space drama “Ad Astra” will land in second with about $20 million, while Sylvester Stallone’s action-thriller “Rambo: [...]

  • BETWEEN TWO FERNS, 2019, PH_0027.RAF

    Film Review: 'Between Two Ferns: The Movie'

    If you’re a fan of “Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis,” the fake public-access talk show that Zach Galifianakis has been hosting online, for three to six minutes a pop, over the last 10 years, then you’ll probably like “Between Two Ferns: The Movie,” the snark-lite 82-minute road movie that Galifianakis and his director and [...]

  • The Irishman

    Martin Scorsese, Frances McDormand, Donald Sutherland Join Lineup of France's Lumiere Festival

    Martin Scorsese’s eagerly awaited Netflix movie “The Irishman” wasn’t completed on time to be shown at the Cannes Film Festival, but Thierry Fremaux, Cannes’s topper, managed to pin down the high-profile movie and Scorsese himself for the upcoming Lumiere festival in Lyon next month. Dedicated to heritage movies, the Lumiere festival was created 10 years [...]

  • 'Aladdin' Star Mena Massoud Calls for

    'Aladdin' Star Mena Massoud Calls for a Broader Diversity of Storytelling in Movies and TV

    The star of “Aladdin,” Egyptian-Canadian actor Mena Massoud, called for a greater diversity of storytelling in movies and television when he spoke at the glamorous opening ceremony Thursday of the 3rd edition of Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival. Massoud, whose credits include Amazon’s “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” and Hulu’s “Reprisal,” lauded “the power of art” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content